It is bewildering that so many Americans, even prominent conservatives, struggle with the term “establishment“, even in the face of crowds carrying philosophical torches and pitchforks. Like so many other words in our vocabulary, the word’s meaning has become muddled by misuse as a petty insult for anyone that opposes one political candidate favored over another. It is exactly this rampant disregard for the meaning of words that is destroying conservatism and losing the Culture War.
Conservatives, more so than most people, should be resistant to the ridiculous and arbitrary use of words, especially given the word salads we’ve had to contend with such as “White Hispanic” when the media tried to make George Zimmerman fit a narrative of mythical systemic racism, “Ethnic Identification” when a troubled white woman tried to reinvent herself as an ethnic victim of racism, and “Work Place Violence” when President Obama tried to disconnect America from the reality of Islamic Terrorism.
Since so many people are already doing so much damage to the English language, Conservatives must stop abusing words with meanings that they do not have. Someone who disagrees with an opinion is not automatically an “establishment” traitor. Words have meaning. If they do not, banana nine blue coconut running donkey pillow bear spilled holiday. Clear enough?
“The Constitution that I interpret is not living but dead.”
Let’s remember what conservatism is actually about: conserving crucial philosophical ideas which were written into our Constitution with very carefully chosen words so as to preserve their intent for posterity. Just like these carefully chosen words, there is a definite meaning for the word “establishment“. Here are three dictionary entries, from three reputed dictionaries, all for the word “establishment“:
Notice that the definitions, though worded differently, are all describing the same thing. The “Establishment” is a group of individuals within a society in a position to exert, directly or indirectly, political power over the People. This includes politicians explicitly empowered to craft laws as well as the wealthy individuals and organizations who bankroll the politicians, who are not empowered to do what they do anyway. The “Establishment” is a collusion between the public leaders and the king makers, in a incestuous self perpetuating organization.
It is this cozy “hand in glove” arrangement that has been at the heart of political corruption for all of human civilization, though the names and titles may change, the political result is always the same. A select wealthy elite discretely backing complicit politicians who then impose the political will of the donors onto the People. The glove, velvet in many cases and cold steel in others, conceals the hands of their wealthy backers. Where a politician may come and go, new gloves always find themselves worn by the same old hands.
This is why candidates, regardless of their party affiliations, always end up sounding the same as their predecessors. Always pushing the same parallel agendas. Always treading the same well worn political lines. Fighting over meaningless issues, while managing to avoid anything that would require an actual stand. When the People feel the tyrannical grip of government close upon them, it’s not the will of the glove that they feel, but the hand of the donor class that wields it.
“You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well I’m not licked!
And I’m gonna stay right here and fight for this lost cause!”
-Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-
There is a reason the Founding Fathers dumped tea into Boston Harbor, tarred and feathered British collaborators, and ultimately lined up to fight and die one cold morning in Lexington and Concord. They were standing up to the Establishment, when it took the form of the British Crown and the Lords who supported him. The power of the State and the naked aggression of tyrannical government was obvious. Today, the influence of the political elite hides behind a curtain of political theater.
A few years ago, sick of decades of politics as usual, millions of Americans joined Tea Party rallies, protesting the excesses of the Establishment, now in the form of Democrat and Republican politicians and their corporatist donors. In 2010, 2012, and 2014, Tea Party candidates were sent to Washington, D.C., defeating incumbent Republicans from all across the United States. They formed the “Freedom Caucus“, a small but vocal group of Jefferson and Janette Smiths, trying to retake Washington for the People.
And what’s been the price of taking on the Establishment? For standing against Boehner, many Tea Party Republican representatives lost committee seats, replaced by more compliant representatives, even when that meant putting Democrats in their places. In the Senate, the precious few Tea Party candidates have fought hard. Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have been the most vocal Tea Party proponents in the Senate, both taking principled stands for Liberty and the Constitution. They have fought their battles for Liberty often alone, and both have paid a price for taking on the Establishment.
“Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look.
He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous.”
-Caesar, Julius Ceasar, Act 1 Scene 2-
In the Culture War, the difference between friend and foe can be a matter of whether the door to the public is open or closed. The Establishment remains the greatest threat to the People, and both politicians and their crony corporatist donors are two faces of the same bad penny. Just look at the donation records of any of the king makers hidden behind the political curtain, and you will see their money, in one way or another, feeding both sides of every election.
Now one of their number has boldly stepped out from behind the curtain and makes to cross the Rubicon, claiming now to be our savior from the Establishment, despite decades of peddling funding for favors at all levels of government, from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, from Chicago to New York, and, of course, in Washington, D.C. Yet as recently as 2011, Donald Trump used exactly this sort of Establishment political power in Menie, Scotland to try and force several families out of their homes, simply because their properties were next to his golf resort, and he didn’t like the look of their homes next to his property.
The disgusting insults that Donald Trump directed publicly at these people, as well as the repulsive political and legal tactics he employed, including cutting off water to their homes and having the police harass anyone daring to tell the truth about him, revealed his true nature. He was and remains a member of the Establishment, the privileged elite with power to impose his will upon the People. He is the clenched fist of the Establishment inside the government glove.
The Washington, D.C. motto is “Don’t rock the boat, because that’s not how things get done around here.“, and Donald Trump says he can make deals in Washington. America doesn’t need a man that can get people to say yes. Washington is filled with plenty of people who say yes. What American needs more than anything is a man that can stand up and say no to the Establishment, and say it emphatically and without regard to the personal cost.
Rock the boat? We’re going to send this elitist ship of fools to the murky depths of the Rubicon where it belongs. Long live the Republic! Be Brave! Be Free!
Liberty is For The Win!